Restoring Boiling-Induced Sulforaphane Depletion in Broccoli with Mustard Powder!

One of the benefits that comes from eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and purple cabbage is consumption of sulforaphane, a naturally occurring anticancer compound. However, do you know that boiling these vegetables for longer than 4 minutes destroys most of their sulforaphane? Besides eating these vegetables raw (I like purple cabbage raw, but not broccoli) are there any foods that when combined reduce sulforaphane destruction? Luckily, the answer is yes!

In the figure below, the white bars indicate the amount of sulforaphane present after 4, 8 or 12 minutes of boiling. Boiling broccoli for 8 minutes destroys almost 2/3 of its sulforaphane, and after 12 minutes, sulforaphane is ~75% reduced. Adding ground mustard seeds (grey bars) at a relative to broccoli concentration of 1% or 2% restored broccoli’s sulforaphane content almost completely back to initial levels after 4, 8 and 12 minutes of boiling. It’s important to note that a mustard seed concentration of 1%, relative to broccoli translates into 3 grams of mustard seed powder per 300 grams of broccoli! That’s not a lot!

broccoli sulfurophane 2

If you’re interested, please have a look at my book!

Reference

Ghawi SK, Methven L, Niranjan K. The potential to intensify sulforaphane formation in cooked broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) using mustard seeds (Sinapis alba). Food Chem. 2013 Jun 1;138(2-3):1734-41.

2 thoughts on “Restoring Boiling-Induced Sulforaphane Depletion in Broccoli with Mustard Powder!

  1. Great blog! After you sprinkle the mustard seed powder, do you wait a certain amount of time before eating to let the sulforaphane form? Thanks!

    1. After the broccoli is done cooking, I drain the water into a bowl containing a few grams of mustard powder. Then I mix it with the boiled water, and add it back on top of the broccoli. Yum!

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